Reading Recovery (RR) is a school-based intervention designed to reduce literacy problems within an education system. It is an early intervention, giving children who have particular difficulties in reading and writing after their first year in Primary school a period of intensive, individual teaching. The intervention is not solely concerned with improving the reading and writing skills of the lowest achieving children in the age band in the mainstream class (around age six) but also helps them to develop more effective literacy strategies so that they will be able to continue to work at age appropriate levels and to progress satisfactorily in their own school’s instruction programme.
A child’s RR series of lessons is finished when he or she is judged to be able to cope well with reading and writing and work successfully at age appropriate levels. The aim is that, with a fully trained RR teacher, this should be achieved within 12-20 weeks. As soon as the child leaves Reading Recovery, another enters and this rolling intervention continues throughout the year.
Key Features of the Reading Recovery Programme
- Children entering Reading Recovery are those who have had the most difficulty in reading and writing after one year at school. Reading Recovery is directed at the lowest achieving six year olds (approx.) in the mainstream class.
- The intervention is different for every child. The starting point is the child’s strengths and the teacher builds upon what the child is able, and trying to do.
- The teaching is individually designed and individually delivered. Each child has an intensive series of 30-minute lessons, daily. The instruction is supplementary to normal class teaching.
- The focus of each lesson is on comprehending messages in reading and constructing messages in writing. In every lesson, children read several small books and write their own stories, learning how to attend to detail without losing focus on meaning.